Well, how’s it all going with your health and fitness?

Two people exercising practising social distancing
Barbara Wilson
Tue 28 Apr

We have now been self-isolating for nearly 5 weeks. Initially things changed dramatically. But now there's been a plateau, same old, same old. People have been coping in different ways, from inspirational quotes, to dressing up for outdoor bin outings, to baking ... sourdough has never been so popular. 

It would seem that fitness has never been so front of mind. Did we need a pandemic to start exercising or get outside?

In the first weeks of the pandemic, we bought up big: and it wasn’t just toilet paper and sanitiser.

The Canberra Times reported on March 29 that Rebel Sport in Canberra sold out of home exercise equipment including kettle bells, resistance bands and weights. Canberrans sprinted to stock up on home exercise equipment once gyms closed. This was a trend across Australia.

Gym equipment like weights, bars, dumbbells cannot be purchased for at least another month and the rare ones (that are available) are being sold for quadruple the price they are worth. Lucky you if you have a home gym or got your hands on these now rare specimens. I’m still waiting for mine to arrive after ordering 4 weeks ago!

Interestingly, fitness attire sales have gone through the roof in the last month.  So many new brands, makes and models for all shapes and sizes. 

Online Zoom group classes are booming with HITT, dance, cardio, PT and even kids’ classes. When restrictions were announced with gyms closing - the new phenomenon of online fitness began. People embraced the new way to exercise, including online classes and one-on-one sessions. 

They also embraced traditional ways of exercising. 

Park walking is having a renaissance.

Our walking paths are now crowded. Of course you need to maintain social distancing now so it can be a bit of an obstacle. Up, down, around, swerving, onto the road, on the slippery dewy morning grass. You even get halted, you might have to put the brakes on, pause, wait, then go!

It's like this pandemic has made everyone jump off the couch and go outdoors and start moviving. Its life changing! The physical benefits will no doubt be huge. 

It’s like being forced indoors has made us come outdoors in droves!

What a socially interesting time we are in. 

I conducted an online focus group with my friends seeking their feedback or take on the following question: ‘From your perspective are people exercising more now during COVID-19?' Well, I was inundated with intelligent responses from a gamut of people including gym trainers, gym participants, avid exercisers to those who are not usually regular exercisers. One thing that stood out above the rest was that most said outdoor physical activity had definitely increased.  

A surge in outdoor walker, an explosion of adults, kids and dogs in local outdoor parks and walking trails.

Was it a result of the fact that gyms had closed, organised sporting activity cancelled, and we were spending a whole heap of time at home? 

Many indicated that they needed to spice things up, and a walk might be the change in scenery they were after. 

Seeing families, sons with their mums, dads with their gaggle of kids, partners  out and about is a phenomenon. 

The weather has been fabulous most days and the sun warm. We are lucky to be out and about.


The fitness age has been revolutionised. Even without weights, and all those big gym machines we were so used to using, we are still exercising, moving as teams or individuals.

So many exercise apps to choose from - paid to free. Every trainer is running or showing workouts from their own living rooms to their backyards. From yoga, cardio box, to stretching, to Les Mills on demand. So, if your lucky to have a spin bike you can spin and still do RPM at home!  I’ve done more crunches at home than at the gym than ever before.

Why? I now have a little more time to do them.

Tonight, I saw on television two dynamic tennis players playing the game on top of two roof tops in Europe. Where there is a will there is a way! 

It may have taken a virus but where out there moving. 

We want to maintain our fitness, our health, and we're taking action!